Ten U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court against Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today for the administration’s directive utilizing “prosecutorial discretion” to commend agents to release certain illegal immigrants.
The agents and deportation officers charge that the deferred deportation action against young illegal immigrants and an earlier directive telling them to concentrate on illegal who had committed additional crimes forces them to choose between fulfilling their job oaths or facing disciplinary action from superiors.
“These agents’ mission is to keep our borders secure, but the head of their agency is directing them otherwise, telling them to undermine their missions and contradict immigration law,” said Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus. “I’m fully supportive of their efforts today. They just want to do their job, keeping our borders secure. It’s not necessary to rewrite the law on this one; it’s a matter of the administration upholding the current immigration laws.”
The lawsuit seeks to protect agents from being subject to punitive action for doing their jobs and enforcing federal laws.
The deferred action order also faces a promised lawsuit from Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
Also today, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) issued an executive order, like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving public benefits even if they are protected against deportation by the Obama administration policies.
“Illegal immigration has real consequences for Mississippi, as it puts additional burdens on our already stretched budget,” Bryant said. “This Executive Order will help ensure that public benefits go to only those persons who are lawfully eligible.”